Immersive Design Challenge January 4th12th, 2016
Parish Episcopal School and the Deason Innovation Gym present MakerPlay: A Design Study in Building a Handson, Studentcentered, Challengebased Activity Platform for Longterm Children’s Hospital Patients Austin Flanagan Nick Keller Courtney Kent Lee Mak Mar McCreary Luke Oglesbee Samantha Reeve Omar Salazar Saurabh Shinde Robbie Slaughter Jackson Sterling Keya Tollossa Garrett Wilson
Table of Contents Introduction I. Summary II. User Needs III. Vision IV. Scope Design Research I. Design Summary II. Visiting Children’s Medical Center of Dallas III. Meeting Longterm Patients Emma Madelyn IV. Teaching an Activity to Cub Scouts Design Principles Program Model I. Program Components Kits Cart Website II. Curricular Components Curriculum Structure Final Deliverable Considerations I. Marketing Strategy Program Host Market Differentiation Opportunities for Advancements III. Module and Programming Concerns Constraints of the Program Model Extensions IV. User Roles Patients Hospital Volunteers Appendix Technical Drawings
Introduction I. Summary The Immersive Design Challenge brought together 16 interdisciplinary students from SMU for a 7day project running from January 6th12th, 2016 to create a pilot program for a proposed problem by our partner. The Deason Innovation Gym (DIG) partnered with Parish Episcopal School (Parish) to create a handson, interactive learning experience for longterm patients ages 9 and up in hospitals. Longterm hospital patients are often confined to their room and lack the ability to interact and engage in a variety of purposeful activities during their treatment. Specifically for children, this translates to the patient often falling behind their peers academically and even socially as mentioned by our two longterm interview patients. This program will engage patients who stay in the hospitals for an extended period of time with handson activities that cover concepts in science, technology, engineering, and math. Activities are curated in a form of project kits that take thirty minutes to an hour to complete. We promote “learning by accident” by bridging the gap between learning and play in each activity. The goal of this program is to increase patient autonomy, increase their sense of control, stimulate STEM learning, and promote creativity and imagination. The project began with a meeting between the DIG and Parish to understand the parameters of the program, the inspiration, and the goals of the project. We started our design research by touring Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, interviewing child life specialists, school services management, and other staff. Then we interviewed two longterm hospital patients and their families. Each interview revealed resource constraints, opportunities for growth, and allowed us to set concrete program objectives. Hospital protocols, possible patients’ disabilities, opportunities for patient interaction, and elementary activity instructions with an opportunity for advanced learning were a few of the goals that were taken into consideration in our proposed solution. The crux of the program solution is a singleuse consumable kits that meet hospital sterilization protocols. The consumable kits are categorized into four teaching goals: programming, electronics, experimentation, and vector graphics/CAD. Each category envelops an aspect of STEM by engaging students in various activities from designing 3D models in TinkerCAD to creating a piano using playdough and a preprogrammed Arduino. Kits are easily transported throughout the hospital through a mobile cart containing additional resources. We propose the cart also contain a permanently mounted 3D printer and vinyl cutter to supplement the activities and further promote effective learning goals. In an effort to increase the amount of patient connection and normalization, our team has created an online platform through which patients can connect. Patients are often connected with others constantly either at school or social media. This avenue for connection is greatly reduced when patients are confined to contact isolation or have a prolonged hospital stay. 2
Creating an avenue to connect with others is paramount to allowing patients to experience a sense of normalcy. Patients will be able to use the website to access kit instructions, share and post pictures of completed activities, connect back to the Design Den at Parish, and find links for additional learning opportunities.
II. User Needs The DIG was approached by Jenn Makins, Director of STEM Education at Parish, to design and prototype a pilot program to engage longterm hospital patients in exciting, handson learning experiences. The primary goal was to create a “cart” that gave patients access to projects that allowed them to experience new technologies and use innovative processes to design and build anything they could dream up.
III. Vision Beyond the prototype we are presenting to Parish, the vision of this project is to use this program model to drive youth engagement in not only STEM but also the maker movement. President Obama recently said, “[Science] is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world…” STEM subjects equip youth with the knowledge and skills to solve the world’s problems. The goal of this program is to capitalize on the opportunity to bring access to STEM programming within the confines of a hospital room. However, we are not only filling this void but also seeking to provide a sense of empowerment and confidence for hospital patients through taskownership and autonomous, selfselected learning process. Driven by their newfound skills, we hope these patients will pursue future learning and creation to continue stimulating their minds and stretching their imagination. The prototype will be replicable on a national scale, user friendly, and mobile.
IV. Scope The learning experience will be driven by a three part solution: kits, a cart, and a website that will serve as a connection platform. The programming is designed for users 9 years of age and older, as some activities require fine motor and cognitive skills and the ability to independently navigate through computer software. As a result, the programming provides activities with low entry requirement that create an opportunity for advanced learning in continuing projects. Each program solution is designed with a consideration for massive scalability and replicability to meet our client’s goals of possibly establishing a national program. Solutions are designed to adhere to hospital sterilization protocols, to be cost effective, and to create an opportunity for patient connection and learning.
Design Research I. Design Summary While there are existing resources in the hospital for patients to make arts and crafts, play video games, and interact with others, these existing resources are predominantly geared towards younger patients and fail to engage older patients and patients limited by contact isolation. Creation, at the heart of the maker movement, embodies a therapeutic element that could potentially help unengaged patients struggling to heal as well as patients in isolation units. As patients complete each project in our program, the goal is to provide a sense of autonomy, mastery, confidence, selfworth, and eagerness to pursue extended learning opportunities. Project completion will also allow patients to have a sense of control in an environment where control could easily connect with selfworth. In the event of a longterm hospital stay, treatment usually creates a void where we would otherwise be comfortably surrounded by ways to connect with family, friends, and the world. A social aspect is paramount for the patients to experience a sense of normalcy. This pilot program is designed with an opportunity to connect internally within the hospital setting as well as externally with friends and family on social media.
II. Visiting Children’s Medical Center of Dallas The team’s visit to Children's Medical Center provided some context to the constraints and psychological factors at play in the hospital. A patient’s typical day during a longterm stay, is often filled with constant interaction with nurses and doctors, monotonous hours of inactivity, and discussions about health conditions. Patients are either on wait or on a routine schedule during their treatment. Idle time is frequently filled with preprogrammed movies, television, occasional visits to the play room during limited hours, reading, and lots of sleep. Hospital sponsored activities that allow patients to connect with others are often limited to weekday business hour operations. During the weeknights and weekends, the hospital is quiet and generally inactive. Patients who are under contact isolation, limiting who and what they can interact with, are particularly disconnected from other patients, their family, and friends since they lack the access to these resources. Contact Isolation patients are often confined to their room and are only allowed to play in isolated play rooms by themselves. The realities of a typical day for a longterm patient inspired our team to create a solution that would foster inpatient connection, interaction with the outside world, and cater to the needs of contact isolation patients. Furthermore, we were inspired to create a solution that would promote goal setting to limit static activities. Patient rooms emerged as a key component to realizing this goal. Our solutions are designed to allow patients to use resources in their surrounding environment to modify, reinforce, and improve each project activity.
III. Meeting Longterm Patients In order to better understand our targeted audience and their needs, we met with two longterm hospital patient's—Emma and Madeline—who walked us through their hospital experiences. Each experience allowed us to identify opportunities to bridge the gap between existing resources and patient needs. Emma Emma is an 8 year old second grader with pulmonary hypertension. With the help of her mom, she spoke with our team about her Thanksgiving visit to a New York hospital that lasted five weeks. The first few days of the visit were filled with DIY art projects selected by her mom to help her create a decorative escape inside her room. In between the DIY projects, Emma was able to participate in hospital sponsored activities that were brought to her various projects to her room during select hours. However, after the completion of DIY decoration project, Emma was left with periodic hours of inactivity and mundane days. Her mom explained to us how the lack of activities in the hospital creates a psychological time warp: the inability to maintain a sense of time. Emma and her mom have become accustomed to these repetitive days and often pass the time by sleeping, watching preprogramed movies, and painting their nails. We were surprised to learn how significant handson activities were for Emma’s hospital experience. In addition to the art and craft activities and DIY projects, Emma’s favorite activities include playing appbased games on her iPad. While these activities kept Emma engaged during her hospital stay, they contain little or no educational supplement for the weeks of missed classroom learning. Since Emma’s longest stay in the hospital only lasts 45 weeks, she does not qualify for hospitals’ homebound teachers programs. This has become detrimental to Emma academically. Emma’s teachers work with her mother to send classroom worksheets and activities to keep her on track, but these static activities have been ineffective. During her visit to New York, her mother brought along a plethora of academic workbooks and classroom sheets but was not able to get much work done. While Emma’s peers participate in handsactivities in the classroom to learn through science fair projects and other classroom activities, Emma was limited to understanding this experiential learning process through handouts. After a day of treatment, Emma often turns to handson activities that provide both a therapeutic experience and a sense of control rather than classroom workbooks and handouts. This information played a key role in helping us identify an opportunity to bridge the gap between learning and play. It’s paramount that we create a product that allows us to bridge the gap for students like Emma who want to learn math and science through handson experiences rather than static information. As mentioned above, hospitals have invested in resources for art activities throughout the hospital. This would allow us to combine patients’ love of creation with experiential learning. We can promote “learning by accident” by bridging the gap between learning and play in each activity. 5
Madeline As a student at Parish as well as a former longterm patient at Children’s Hospital, Madeline had a unique perspective that influenced a slew elements in the design process. At the age of eight, Madeline was diagnosed with a blood disorder which induced frequent visits to the hospital lasting one to two months. Madeline rapidly found herself running out of activities the longer she stayed in the hospital. As she got older, hospitalsponsored activities became puerile. Childlife specialists often focused on creative activities for the younger age groups, leaving older patients with a lot of idle time. Madeline began to see patients her age become increasingly isolated due to the lack of activities. Madeline also observed patients slowly retreating from other patient and family and friends due to personal humiliation about health conditions. This debilitates normalization. Madeline discussed the possibility of activities helping with normalization during and after hospital visits. After longterm hospital visit, Madeline has difficulty explaining her condition and her prolonged hospital visit. Engaging activities, lessons learned, and tangible products can open up possibilities for the patient to dialogue about an activity rather than an illness. We were surprised to learn how engaging activities played a large role in helping family members. Madeline's mother particularly highlighted the therapeutic effect of creative activities for both patients and parents. As parents engage their child in activities and/or engaged in the activities themselves, they are able to think about the activity as opposed to their child's condition. This palliates parents’ anxiety which is conducive to a patient's psychological well being. This allowed us to identify an imperative opportunity to create a product which cultivated collaboration. Each activity is infused with earmarks of collaboration. Patients have the option of using kit instructions to create individually or in collaboration with others. Patients can further connect with others through the use of social media hashtags and MakerPlay website.
IV. Teaching an Activity to Cub Scouts In order to further understand the possible structure of the curriculum model, our team conducted an activity with the Pack 55 Cub Scouts who were six years or older. Through the use of simple instructions and assisted guidance, the cub scouts were able to create 1viber bots and learn more about batteries. From the cub scout activity, our team projected the base knowledge level of our target audience. We also noticed how receptive the cubs were to learning from handson activities. Building viber bots allowed cubs to learn from the activity and provoked curiosity about science. The Cubs were allowed a vast degree of freedom to create within the limits of their imagination.This gave them a sense of control over the learning process and the intrinsic motivation to learn more. The process of creation—which is at the center of the maker 1
Viber Bots are imaginary creatures created through popsicle sticks, art and crafts supplies , batteries, and a motor.
movement—allows patients in the hospital to gain a sense of control where they otherwise are debilitated by their health conditions. Vanderbilt University PHD student Gokul Krishnan states, “the ‘mobile maker’ really gives patients some control over what they want to learn and make in an environment where they have little control. They are engaged in meaningful learning activities without really knowing it.“ In addition to mindful learning, we also observed a progressive confidence. Simple instructions and limited assistance provided the cubs a sense of autonomy and control. The cubs were encouraged to make creative decisions without the hinderance of set standards and right or wrong ideas. Each student was able to overcome general instructions and newfound challenges to bring to life their envisioned product. The more autonomous the decision making process, the more confident, imaginative, and creative the cubs became. As a result, we saw wide variety of products after the making process. We also learned the importance of tangible and consumable products to our targeted audience. Tangible products allowed each student to gain feedback without the explicit feedback from the helpers or family members. Tangible products also created an opportunity to share experiences between cubs. The cubs were able to bond with friends about their product designs, the characteristics of their design, and “cool” stories they had about the creative process.
Design Principles Our design research revealed the need to create a product that was mobile, safe, sterile, decorateable, and created an opportunity to connect hospital patients to the outside world. Each of these principles are embodied in our threepronged solution model described below.
Program Model I. Program Components The program will be separated into three different components that can further be expanded: cart, kit, and website. Furthermore, we have created subgoals for each category to ensure we meet our affective learning goals. Kits MakerPlay kits are designed to teach four components of STEM: experimentation, programing, vector/CAD, and electronics. Each kit takes up to 3060 minutes of the patients time. Instructions are simple and promote further learning through project extension. As a result, patients can work on one kit longer than the intended 3060 minutes. Goal setting, which was a key component of our product solution, is achieved through varying difficulty levels in each activity. Kits are separated into skill building sets and challenge sets. Tools and supplies are listed along with the instructions and are included in each kit. After the completion of each project, patients can find instruction to connect to our website, social media, and resources to the maker movement. Patients are able to post pictures on our website to connect with others, 7
create variations of their project, or redo the kits with other family members using collaboration instructions. Cart As the mobile component of our solution, the cart will transport prestocked kits and other resources to patient's room. In addition to carrying replenishing supply, we propose both a vinyl cutter and a 3D printer to go on top of the carts. The cart is designed to carry 16 small kits and 16 larger kits when fully stocked. Carts also provide opportunities for patient collaboration by becoming stationary playroom tools. This would allow patient to come to playrooms during operating hours to create 3D printed designs and stickers with other patients. Much like our kit design the cart fosters artistic creativity. The cart is designed with one white board and a cork board on either side for patients to decorate as they see fit. Website The website is a key component in allowing us to fulfil our goal of connecting patients to others in the hospital and to the outside world. The website will be an important resource for finding instructions for each kit activity, connecting with the maker movement, linking patients back to Parish Design Den, and a platform to share designs and activities through social media.
II. Curricular Components Each kit is designed with low entry level requirements and instructional language which will cater to our extreme user. Learning goals are advanced through project extensions and learning cards in each kit. Learning cards give patients the technical understanding or the “why” of each project. Project extensions give patients food for thought into how to modify the activity in order to induce innovation. We have used both project extensions and learning cards to balance fun and learning. Curriculum Structure Our curriculum has four learning objectives: programing, experimentation, vector/CAD, and electronics. Each objective connects with STEM learning goals our teams wanted to promote. These objectives are further broken down into two subgoals: skill sets and challenge sets. Skill set activities are designed to teach entry level skill set. Skill set activities are designed to promote advanced learning and build on knowledge gained from completed activities. Challenge kits on the other hand are designed to build patient's’ problem solving skills. Simple instructions and supply provided in each kit allows each project the flexibility to be modified, improved, and hacked for a perpetual problem solving project.
Final Deliverable Considerations I. Marketing Strategy We have proposed the marketing strategy below to allow Parish to expand MakerPlay on a potentially national scale. We will highlight the potential program host along with their benefits and constraints, MakerPlay’s market differentiation, and possible avenues for advancements of the program. Program Host MakerPlay programs can be hosted by private or public hospitals. Each target host incorporates a possible obstacle and benefits. Our visit to Children’s Medical, a private hospital, allowed us to identify possible financial resources that could easily host MakerPlay. Private hospitals could potentially have the financial means to support MakerPlay kits and MakerPlay mobile carts throughout their facilities. Furthermore existing resources in private hospitals provide an opportunity for Parish to expand product objectives. For example, Children’s Medical has an established patient/family network through which Parish could build a platform for further patient connection. By contrast, public hospitals are often financially constrained and lack the resources to host programs like MakerPlay. The benefit of working with a public hospital however, is the diverse background of patients and the exposure to a greater population. According to a 2014 American Hospital Association Annual survey, out of the 5,686 hospitals in the US 2,904 of were public hospitals who admit 33.6 million patients annually—in comparison to 1.8 million admitted patients in private hospitals. Another benefit of public hospitals is the opportunity to serve hospital patients in lower socioeconomics who otherwise might not have the means to connect with the maker movement. Market Differentiation Makerplay differentiates itself in makers therapy by offering a three pronged solution. This allows MakerPlay to reach patients that are underserved through existing hospital resources. Patients in isolation units and older patients will be able to create through engaging activities that balance learning and fun. Our hope is to allow patients like Emma to not be able to miss the joy of learning math and science through handson, engaging activities, and patients like Madeline to have avenues for connections with others through MakerPlay. Opportunities for Advancements In order to achieve program objectives of national replicability, we have suggested two avenues of expansion: through a nonprofit entity and fiscal sponsorship. MakerPlay could potentially file for 501c3 status and operate like a nonprofit entity. Because of the novelty and unique nature of makers therapy, we could anticipate financial support from foundations and possibly the government. While the nonprofit route would allow MakerPlay to have financial support, establishing a 501c3 status is long and cumbersome. For this reason, we propose a second avenue of advancement until MakerPlay can achieve 501c3 status: fiscal sponsorship. 9
Through a fiscal sponsorship, MakerPlay can enjoy the taxdeduction benefits of an existing nonprofit organization from day one while a 501c3 status is being developed. This allows MakerPlay to operate the program without creating a new entity. The existing nonprofit would act as a program host which takes a percentage of donations from MakerPlay. Hosting organization often handle administrative responsibilities like fundraising, distribution of fund, etc. This structure is formed through initial agreement negotiated between hosting organization and the guest. We have provided introductory reading materials below to learn more about fiscal sponsorship and nonprofit status. About Fiscal Sponsorship https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/toolsresources/fiscalsponsorshipnonprofits School Factory Fiscal Sponsor http://schoolfactory.org/services#section1 Sample Fiscal Sponsor Agreement http://www.coloradotrust.org/sites/default/files/Fiscal_Sponsorship_Agreement_Sample.pdf NonProfit 501c3 Status http://www.sos.state.tx.us/corp/nonprofit_org.shtml
III. Module and Programming Concerns Constraints of the Program Model Although several days of data gathering allowed us to design a comprehensive product that satisfies most needs, there were some things that we were aware of but were not able to address. One example is the existence of NonEnglish speaking long term hospital patients; we were not able to create a product that took into account the possibility of having a user that could not use the English language in the time allotted for the design process. Another concern within the team of designers was the shortcomings of the website dedicated to this project; the web page is not intended to be a structured instructional platform, but rather an information resource that allows users to complete tasks in individual kits and find other ways in which to 10
further their creative activities and satiate their curiosity. Furthermore, though the site allows patients to share their creations and see their peers’ (thus can be consider as a hub of flowing information) it does not allow for direct communication between patients. Another limitation of the web site created is the fact that it does not track progress of which kits have already been completed by a patient. Extensions Designated volunteers will play a key role in putting the cart to use in the hospitals. Instructional manuals on how each component is operated should be provided to each volunteer. This would require further collaboration with hospital volunteer coordinators to effectively train volunteers in the use of 3D printers and vinyl cutters and to allow for the volunteers to troubleshoot in case of any problems.
IV. User Roles Patients We wanted to design a product that would to be simple, decoratable, tangible, and provide a possibility for connection with other patients, family, and friends. Our initial research was a great indicator of the need to create a learning experience that focused on affective goals. In several interviews our team heard the words, empowerment, confidence, autonomy, sense of control etc. Longterm hospital patients have a unique and binary fight of health and psychological factors. In fact, research shows that longterm hospital patients have a greater psychological needs than the general population. In order to promote psychological well being, we have designed problem solution around autonomy, task ownership, and mastery to promote empowerment and a sense of control. Tangibility is another core value that came up a lot in our design research. Patients enjoyed consumable products that allowed them to receive feedback and an opportunity for goal setting. As patients complete a kit, parts from each kit can be repurposed for extended learning opportunities through tinkering and “hacking”. As mentioned above, tangibility also emerged as an opportunity to promote our third value: connection. Patients can share the projects they’ve made via our website platform. Last but not least in order to create aesthetically pleasing design we have left the decoration to the patients. Kits come in simple boxes with minimal label to promote hacking and creative decoration. Each cart also maintains an opportunity for decoration both through a white board and quark boards for posting pictures. Hospital Our product design was heavily influenced by protocols for sterilization, safety, our desire to connect patients, and mobility. We strove to serve our hypothetical extreme user: a nine year old patient in the isolation unit. As a result we were able to create a product that would be safe
enough to bypass fears of cross contamination and chocking hazard. The cart is designed as a complement to the kits and has been created to be mobile and easy to sterilize. Our goal to connect patients will also be a core value for the hospital. Hospital rooms, existing patient/family connection networks, and playroom protocols will determine the effectiveness of our solution. Since sterilization plays a big role in our product solution, we have designed the solution to cater to connection with others in the hospital in three parts. We will do that through the use of our website, social media connection, and activities that allow patients to collaborate with others. Volunteers Since the product solutions allows for a possibility of connections, we recommend provided troubleshooting resources for volunteers. MakerPlay kits are designed with the goal of becoming their own administrator without too much assistance. The more technical aspects of the product solution will be found on the cart in our vinyl cutter and 3D printer.
Appendix Technical Drawings
A design study in building a hands-on, student-centered, & challenge-based activity platform for longterm Children’s Hospital Patients.
Published on Nov 10, 2019
A design study in building a hands-on, student-centered, & challenge-based activity platform for longterm Children’s Hospital Patients.